Elieza Mae Paule will be spending a couple of weeks in Washington, D.C. this summer after landing one of 13 coveted spots in the American Red Cross Collegiate Leadership Program.

Paule is a triple-major student at Warner Pacific University, focusing on kinesiology, sports medicine, and sports performance.

“I haven’t been to D.C., so it looks like an exciting trip,” Paule said. “I’m looking forward to meeting new people, being in a different environment, and seeing what Red Cross truly is.”

The leadership program is provided by a partnership between the American Red Cross, the National Christian College Athletic Association, and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. As part of the program, students receive a $2,000 scholarship and a two-week training at the American Red Cross Headquarters in Washington D.C. Participants receive mentoring and networking opportunities, as well as leadership skills development.

Currently, Paule is a resident assistant and peer mentor at WPU. “I definitely feel like my student leadership experience helped me (get into the program),” she said. “My perseverance, determination and character helped as well.”

“I am very excited about this opportunity, and (what I can bring) back to Warner,” Paule said. “And what I can do to improve our community and see where that takes off.”

Community and staff and student diversity is part of what drew Paule to WPU. “Everyone comes from a different background, so that’s also nice,” she said.

This will be Paule’s first time traveling out of state on her own. “My family is very excited and a little nervous,” she said.

Paule is a first-generation college student. “None of my family members has taken this route,” Paule said. Though family is at the heart of why she decided to go to pursue higher education.

“I guess it was that I want my family to have a good future,” she said. “I want to be the one who retires my family. Being the first is nice. It’s definitely something that has been taught to me since growing up – ‘we want you to go to college,’ so that’s what I’ve taken.”